From coffee houses to Jegaraki (small food places that sell barbecued lamb liver) and Kelepazi; which one should I choose in Iran?
Restaurant is a new title in Iranian food culture, and in the last few decades, very good restaurants have been established in different cities of Iran. But Iranians are used to eat each food at a specific place! For this reason, you will see a lot of different food stores in Iran.
Iran Coffee houses and Iran tea houses
Coffeehouses are the oldest form of Iranian cafes that existed even in villages. In the past, it was a hangout place for local men who would gather together after work, drink tea and play cards. Coffee houses and tea houses are still popular in Iran villages and small towns. Mostly they have with a masculine atmosphere. If arranged with the owner of the coffee house, women can also enter the coffee houses, especially guests and tourists are very easily accepted in these places. Legally, there is no prohibition for women to enter these places.
Iran Traditional Restaurants
As its obvious form its name, at Iran traditional restaurants, Iranian traditional dishes are served. Rice is the main base of almost all Iranian dishes. Various types of kebabs and stews are served along with local side dishes.
In the menu of these restaurants, you can find dishes such as eggplant curd or Kookoo (an egg-based and often vegetarian Iranian dish made of whipped eggs folded in various ingredients), which are eaten with bread. In the menu of traditional restaurants, there is usually no option for vegans, and there is also no sandwiches or fast food.
In big cities, there are luxury traditional restaurants that serve a variety of salads and desserts, and their service and food prices are usually high.
Pizza Places in Iran
In Iran, you will find fast food shops that only sell pizza. You will see different types of pizzas that are the result of Iranian creativity and are made with available raw materials. From vegetable pizza to special pizza that is a combination of veal, chicken and ham!
Usually a regular pizza is for a big person and he can't eat it all! For this reason, be sure to check the size of the pizza before placing your order.
Sandwich and fast-food shops in Iran
In Iran you will find at least one fast-food shop in every street. Sometimes dozens of sandwich shops can be seen side by side in the main streets. The difference between them is the popularity of their brand or the quality of their sandwiches. The simplest and cheapest Iranian sandwiches are falafel, macaroni and Kookoo, falafel is suitable for vegans and Kookoo for vegetarians.
In the salad section, we have Seasonal Salad, the main ingredients of which are lettuce, tomato, cucumber and carrot. Cabbage salad and Shirazi salad are different from the salads you have ever experienced. Caesar salad, which is the same as Seasonal salad, but cheese and chicken fillet are added to it.
Ash stores (Ashi)
One of the Iranians popular dishes is "Ash", which has many different types. Ash looks like soup, but its ingredients are very different. The primary ingredient of all Iranian Ash types is beans. Some Ash types have meat, such as Shole Qalamkar Kalamkar or Mashhadi Sholeh, and some are topped with curd, such as Ash Sabzi (Vegetable based Ash).
Kale Pazi Stores
Kalepache is one of the strangest dishes that you can only experience in some countries such as Iran, Turkey and the Balkans.
Kalepache is a cooked sheep's head, and since it is a fatty and heavy food, Iranians eat it as breakfast in the morning. Specialized restaurants serving this food are called “kalepazi”. The cleaned sheep's head is fully cooked and its different parts are separated and served to you. The most delicious parts are the ears, eyes and tongue, which have higher price as well. Along with Kalepache, meat broth is also served, and it is recommended that at the end of your meal, you must drink a lot of lemon juice so that the body returns to a state of balance
Jegaraki (Liver Kebab shops/stands)
One of the most popular Iranian foods is grilled heart and liver of sheep. The heart, liver, giblets are grilled on the fire and its one the popular Persian recipes.
If you are a fan of street food, liver kebab stands are waiting for you along the streets of all Iranian cities. Of course, we do not recommend trying this to you because the possibility of incompatibility with your eating habits is high and if you have a sensitive stomach then you might get sick